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Pork Rib Tips Recipe

Listen up BBQ lovers! You gotta try some rib tips at least once in your life – they’re juicy, mouthwatering, and finger-licking good! If you’re a fan of cookouts, then smother these tender, flavorful bites in BBQ sauce for a crowd-pleasing recipe.

Delicious rib tips on a white plate with a platter behind it

As the summer grilling season approaches, I’m getting hyped for classic Southern cookouts with grilled veggies, cornbread, potato salad, sweet tea, baked beans, and most importantly, LOTS of ribs! The secret to tender, flavorful, and juicy ribs is the perfect dry rub and slow cooking. And of course, you can’t forget the generous slather of BBQ sauce for good measure!

What are pork rib tips?

They’re the meaty, cartilage-rich end portions of pork spare ribs and a delicacy in Southern BBQ culture. If you cook them just right, you’ll fall in love with the sweet, smoky flavors and fall-off-the-bone texture. Grilling rib tips is my preferred method, but you can also bake them to achieve a similar flavor and texture. No more waiting for the grilling season!

Serve your rib tips with extra BBQ sauce and sides like collard greens, baked macaroni and cheese, and coleslaw for a mouthwatering meal. And if you’re hosting a party, end the night with a juicy dessert like peach cobbler or peach crisp.

Ingredients to make pork rib tips


  • Rib tips: Pork rib tips are so wonderful when super tender and melt in your mouth. Head to your local grocery store or butcher shop to find them.
  • Brown sugar: Brown sugar adds a bit of sweetness to the bold flavors of the spices we use here. It helps balance it all.
  • Dry rub seasonings: I’m all about those big, bold, smoky flavors like onion powder, garlic powder, Cajun seasoning, and smoked paprika. But don’t be afraid to switch it up with some Creole or blackened seasoning, hot paprika, cayenne, pepper, or mustard powder.
  • Cooking spray: To keep your ribs from sticking and to make sure that dry rub sticks to them, use some cooking spray or a thin layer of vegetable oil with a high smoke point.
  • BBQ sauce: And for that final basting, use your fave store-bought or homemade BBQ sauce. Mix it up and try out some different flavors like honey, bourbon, or spicy varieties to find what you like best.

How to Make Pork Rib Tips

To begin the recipe, I like to rinse and pat them dry first and make sure the excess membrane is also removed.

Ribs being dried with paper towels

Apply your dry rub and let them marinate in the fridge for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight. 

Dry rub on ribs before baking

Then, grill or bake them low and slow until they’re tender and juicy. 

Ribs in foil after baking for hours

Rest your ribs before chopping them into small pieces making them pork rib tips and serving them with your favorite sides.

A close up of pork rib tips before enjoying


Leftovers? No problem. Store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4-5 days or wrap them tightly and freeze them for up to 3 months. Reheat them in the oven, on the grill, or even in an air fryer for a quick and convenient option. Plus, you can marinate your rib tips ahead of time and freeze them until you’re ready to grill. Now, get ready for some delicious rib tips, y’all!

A close up of pork rib tips before enjoying
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Pork Rib Tips

You gotta try some rib tips at least once in your life – they're juicy, mouthwatering, and finger-licking good! If you're a fan of cookouts, then smother these tender, flavorful bites in BBQ sauce for a crowd-pleasing recipe.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Marinating Time 6 hours
Total Time 8 hours 55 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Author Jocelyn Delk Adams


  • 4 lbs pork ribs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp cajun seasoning
  • 1 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp mustard powder
  • oil cooking spray
  • Your fave bbq sauce for basting


  • First, rinse the rib tips and dry them with paper towels. If there's any membrane or extra skin on the tips, remove it.
  • Mix brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, cajun seasoning, black pepper, smoked paprika, kosher salt, cumin, chili powder, mustard powder, and cayenne pepper in a plastic bag until well combined.
  • On a large baking sheet lined with non-stick foil, arrange the rib tips, ensuring the foil extends beyond the ribs.
  • Spray the ribs with oil, then rub the dry spice mixture thoroughly on each side.
  • Cover the ribs with the foil, sealing it tightly, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

To Grill

  • Oil the grill grates well to prevent sticking.
  • Once the grill is hot, place the ribs bone side down over indirect heat and grill covered for 1 ½ hours. Turn them and grill for another 1 ½ hours, still over indirect heat.
  • Monitor the ribs occasionally to ensure they don't stick or burn. After about 3 hours, the ribs should be very tender. If not, grill for up to an additional 30 minutes, aiming for an internal temperature of 145°F.
  • Move the ribs to direct heat and brush with BBQ sauce on both sides, grilling uncovered for 5-10 minutes before removing.

To Bake Ribs

  • Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
  • Bake the ribs for 2 ½ hours, checking for tenderness. If needed, continue baking for another 30-45 minutes until they reach an internal temperature of 145°F.
  • Drain excess fat, apply BBQ sauce to both sides of the ribs.
  • Broil the ribs for 5 minutes bone side down after basting with BBQ sauce, then brush with sauce a second time and broil until lightly browned and bubbly.
  • For extra stickiness, broil for a few more minutes.

When ready to serve

  • Let the rib tips cool for 5-7 minutes, chop them into smaller pieces, and serve.
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